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Once a Runner Audiobook

Once a Runner

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Publisher's Summary

Once a Runner captures the essence of what it means to be a competitive runner; to devote your entire existence to a single-minded pursuit of excellence. It has become one of the most beloved sports novels ever written. Originally self-published in 1978 and sold at road races out of the trunk of the author's car, reading the book became a rite of passage for many runners, and tattered copies were handed down like sacred texts from generation to generation.

Once a Runner is the story of Quenton Cassidy, a collegiate runner at fictional Southeastern University whose lifelong dream is to run a four-minute mile. He is less than a second away when the political and cultural turmoil of the Vietnam War era intrudes into the staid recesses of his school's athletic department. After he becomes involved in an athletes' protest, Cassidy is suspended from his track team.

Under the tutelage of his friend and mentor, Bruce Denton, a graduate student and former Olympic gold medalist, Cassidy gives up his scholarship, his girlfriend, and possibly his future to withdraw to a monastic retreat in the countryside and begin training for the race of his life: a head-to-head match with the greatest miler in history.

This audiobook is a rare insider's account of the incredibly intense lives of elite distance runners; an inspiring, funny, and spot-on tale of one man's quest to become a champion.

©2009 John L Parker; (P)2009 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"The best novel ever written about running." (Runner's World)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (536 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Rick J. Mitchell 03-28-10 Listener Since 2010
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    "Spellbinding!"

    A great story, particularly if you are a runner or are involved in aerobic sports.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Porter Ranch, CA, United States 02-27-10
    David Porter Ranch, CA, United States 02-27-10 Member Since 2013
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    "Wind in Your Face"

    In a field, far deprived from human contact, Quenton Cassidy and Bruce Denton clip off sixty-second quarters in preparation for the inevitable dance with fate – the ever, elusive four-minute mile. In Once a Runner, John L. Parker, Jr. masterfully captures the collegiate running experience while following his main character Quenton Cassidy.



    The research behind this novel is right on the mark. The famed Millrose Games, with its long, rich history is best known for its Wanamaker Mile. John captures the allure of this event, and other great events like the Drake Relays with excitement and passion. Southeastern University is the home to its greatest athletes that are full of college politics, back history, athletes that have Olympic and World hopes and some drama.

    Rolling through campus, bobbing and weaving through campus students, Quenton Cassidy and his merry gents feel the wind in there faces, and the ground beneath them. I listened to this book in the car and I found myself lost in my childhood. As a kid, I grew up running with a local track club and then eventually in high school. I remember how it made me feel. I remember the joy of the wind in my face and the rolling hills of a single-track trail winding through a wooded forest. I detested the intervals much like the characters in this book; however, nonetheless this book is a must read for anyone who loves running.

    After reading this book, you will want to hit the trails or streets for some exercise – that alone is inspiring.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bennett south lyon, MI, United States 11-12-09
    Bennett south lyon, MI, United States 11-12-09 Member Since 2012
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    "motivating, inspiring."

    This book will take you to the limit. immpossible to put down! worth your money, every penny of it!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 09-03-09
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 09-03-09 Member Since 2010
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    "the way it really is"

    This book was a pretty realistic telling of the typical journey to being a world class competitive runner. There are many distractions along the way, and John Parker does a good job of laying them out.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kate D Canada 05-04-10
    Kate D Canada 05-04-10 Listener Since 2009

    Dianne in Canada

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    "For my first read a running book it was good"

    Is it a coincidence that when I listened to "The Perfect Mile" (a great book) part of it sounded like this book....did the author of this book use the ideas of The Perfect Mile and change the characters and story around a bit?
    It was a good book but I found the first part really boring and dragged on until the storey finally started to emerge. The narrator was kind of irritating to listen to until I became used to his whiney voice.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Johannes 06-28-17
    Johannes 06-28-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Great Book If your in to running!"

    Great listen, funny, entertaining and superb narration. You dont need to be a runner to enjoy but you will enjoy it more if you are!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M.Greenfield14 04-10-17
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    "Love it"

    Read and listened to this book countless times and still love it. so so good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    decent runner 04-05-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Reader's voice is extra animated"

    I'm not sure if this story was intended to be as humorous as the reader's voice seems to imply. He gives all of the characters really ridiculous accents and boisterous voices that I found very distracting. I think I would interpret this story very differently if I read the hard copy, myself. I'm pretty sure I enjoyed the story, itself, aside from the parts with dialogue.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dave United States 02-08-17
    Dave United States 02-08-17 Member Since 2015
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    "If this is the best...."
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Male members of high school track teams.


    Has Once a Runner turned you off from other books in this genre?

    There are too few novels in this category to be turned off.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Poor differentiation between characters.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    I was offended by it on many levels. There are hints of racism and sexism, and all but elite runners are degraded as being slow, fat wannabes.


    Any additional comments?

    Amateur writing, poor dialogue, little character development and, 90 minutes into an eight-hour book, no discernible sign of a plot. This will be the first Audible selection that I just won't be able to finish.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dan 01-19-17
    Dan 01-19-17 Member Since 2016
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    "I see what the fuss is all about!"
    What made the experience of listening to Once a Runner the most enjoyable?

    I've heard for a while that this is one of the best running books of all time. I finally decided to give it a try and I'm glad to say it lived up to all the hype. This book does a good job at describing what a runner thinks and what makes him tick. I'll definitely be purchasing Again to Carthage next!


    What other book might you compare Once a Runner to and why?

    Born to Run


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Janet
    Preston, United Kingdom
    1/9/12
    Overall
    "Simply Lovely"

    I was there - with the night runners:-) A great book for audio and beautifully read. Everyone who has ever put one foot in from=nt of the other should listen to this book:-)

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Colette
    ValeGuernsey
    7/31/10
    Overall
    "Feel the pain!!"

    If you've had any involvement in endurance sport then you'll enjoy this. Basically, a story of no gain without pain and total dedication, plus a good ending and it's beautifully written. Well read too.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • edward
    Swineshead, United Kingdom
    7/19/10
    Overall
    "Enjoyable for Runners and with a great finish"

    I love books that take you inside the mind of a runner and attempt to offer explanations about the single minded dedication and pain that I guess all runners experience. This book, set largely on a US college campus, is both fascinating and feels real. I run and so can empathise with much of the activity - it may be less interesting for non-runners...

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    10/28/15
    Overall
    Performance
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    "SOOOOOOO BORING"

    i love running but this was utterly tedious and accent absurd. you can do much better

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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